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Now That's a Deal That Seems Worth Taking

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Hannibal sighs into his drink as a shadow darkens the bar stool at his side, clouding his periphery. It is the same shadow that he has noted lingering in almost every space he has inhabited in the last few weeks. At the Opera, at parties, prowling behind him on the streets, lingering in the lights that illuminate his front door and the street beyond it.

"Mister Crawford," he says mildly, as the shadow takes its seat, reforms and solidifies into the visage of, possibly, one of the most beautiful men Hannibal has ever seen. With his lovely blue eyes, angelic curls and form-fitting if inexpensive clothes – purchased not for flair but function only – he has captured what parts of Hannibal's mind he doesn't fill with shadows.

He sets his drink down and fixes young Mister Crawford with a raised eyebrow and expectant expression, receives a flash of his charming smile in return. "Please," he says, and holds out a hand, "call me Will, Doctor Lecter."

Hannibal sighs, but takes his hand and allows a single shake. "If I am to call you Will, I must insist you call me Hannibal, then."

"Hannibal." Will purrs the name, sits in a slouch both undignified and very…alluring. Thighs spread and thick in his trousers, biceps threatening to split his white shirt at the seams, buttons undone at the collar between his loose tie to show a glimpse of his collarbones, he looks quite a sight. Would fit, Hannibal thinks with no small amount of discomfort, in very well with the more roguish part of town. But that is the point, for that's where Will dwells.

"You are a persistent man," Hannibal notes.

Will's smile widens, grows off-angle and dimples his cheeks. He waves a hand and the barkeep appears, a bottle of whiskey and two shot glasses in hand. He pours one for each of them and Will pushes Hannibal's out in offering.

"I like a good chase," Will replies, and tips his shot back, showing his pale throat which flexes as he swallows. Hannibal's hand tightens around his own drink, and he does not reach for Will's offered shot. Will hums when he's done, setting the glass down with a sharp 'clack', and wipes over the back of his mouth with his hand in a very cavalier, unrefined motion. It moves his entire body, in a dancer's way, which Hannibal thinks suits, given his current employment.

"And is that what your father calls your pursuit of me? A chase?"

Will laughs, shows more teeth and a tempting slip of his tongue. "Now, please, Hannibal, I love Jack dearly, but let's call him what he is – my employer."

Hannibal's brows rise. He knows they are not truly related, for no one would compare Will's complexion with that of the infamous Jack Crawford and see them similar: "And yet you took his name."

"An easy conversation starter, wouldn't you agree?" Will asks with another charming smile. He takes the second, abandoned shot, drinks it down and sets the empty glass beside its brother. Hannibal huffs, but doesn't deny it.

Will eyes him, his eyes glimmering like water in the sun, his smile still wide. From the flush on his cheeks Hannibal would guess he's already had several drinks before daring to approach. "Is this really how you like to spend your days?" Will asks, leaning in, nudging his fingers gently against Hannibal's wrist. Hannibal tightens his fingers around his glass, but will not give Will the satisfaction of seeing him pull away. "Whiskey, and misery, and parties, and plays?"

"They are all powerful diversions," Hannibal replies, unable to help his own smile – one that shows teeth, mirroring Will's. He straightens, as does Will, a mimic to the last. "The circus holds all the same."

"A perfect fit, then!" Will cries, and slaps his hand on the bar. As if summoned with a bell, the barkeep returns and fills the two shots, and Will pats his pockets, pulls out a crisp bill, and slides it over. They exchange it with a flash of hands and the barkeep moves away to tend to other patrons, though they are few this time of night. "It holds all the things you already enjoy."

Hannibal huffs, sipping at his drink. "If I were to mix with you, I'd be the talk of the town," he says. "Disgraced, disowned." Will sighs, and rests his elbow on the bar. "Another one of the clowns."

Will hums, rubbing his hand over his mouth – palm to lips this time, and it drags, lower lip clinging dry to his fingers, showing his teeth. Showing his tongue. Hannibal's eyes drop to the motion, and he stifles a growl. He has seen Will's act, the one time he visited Crawford's circus, and found the man enthralling. His mastery of the animals in that ring is the kind of thing people remember. In all his life, he has never seen tigers bow, and yet they do for Will.

"I know you see it, Hannibal," Will murmurs, softer now, leaning in as if they are exchanging a dire secret. His warmth, the flush on his cheeks and the light in his eyes, calls to Hannibal; makes him want to lean in in turn. Perhaps he has had one too many drinks.

Will takes one of his renewed shots and holds it out in offering, smiling wide when Hannibal relents, and takes it, and Will grabs the second. The scent of Will, the press of his lips, clings to the rim of the glass, and they eye each other over amber liquid and immersed in low light.

"I would gladly keep chasing you," Will whispers, ragged and soft, and Hannibal blinks. "But right here, right now, I put the offer out." He smiles, and clinks their glasses together. "Live a little, laugh a little. Let me cut you free from all this…drudgery. These walls that keep you."

Hannibal laughs, and sets down the shot. "I quite enjoy the life you say I'm trapped in."

"Wouldn't we all?" Will purrs, and drinks his own drink, not caring that Hannibal will not join him.

"I live amongst the elite," Hannibal replies with a nod. "I don't need to see what you're offering."

Will eyes him, sleek and fine, so Goddamn beautiful it's a wonder Mister Crawford did not think to simply display him, for surely he would draw crowds in their multitudes. Indeed, Hannibal has noticed quite a bit of chatter in his circles, those that have deigned to go or listened to gossip, especially concerning the animal tamer he keeps in his rings.

Will's eyes narrow – not in suspicion, or aggravation – some sharp thing that cuts Hannibal to his core, and his smile widens, showing all of his teeth again.

"Aren't you curious?" he whispers. "What it would feel like? To have that kind of freedom?"

Hannibal blinks. "Are you under the impression that I'm not free?"

Will's throat moves in an enticing way when he swallows, tilts his head, leans heavy on the bar and props his chin in his hand. His cuffs are rolled up, baring forearms covered in a smattering of dark hair. Hannibal diligently avoids admiring the flex of muscle.

"Free in the ways the elite count, possibly," he says, very quietly. Hannibal stiffens, tensing all over and very aware that they are not alone, when he feels Will's other hand flatten, warmly, on his thigh. Just a brace of a touch, there and gone again, but it sends fire, a spark fueled by alcohol, up Hannibal's spine. "But does your current life cure all of your aches, Doctor Lecter?"

Hannibal tightens his hand around his drink, looks at it. Lifts it and tips it back. "I'm sure I don't know what you're referring to."

"I know where your eyes linger," Will says, still so very quietly for the sake of their surroundings. The way he's speaking sounds like all the things society judges; sin and whiskey and close-pressed bodies in dark corners. "Where I live, we need not fear what we hold inside ourselves. Rejects and orphans and runaways; renegades are crowned in the ring, Hannibal. The lost are found, there."

"I am not lost."

"And yet I found you, all the same," Will says, and smiles again. Charming, wide, lovely as ever. He is the only person Hannibal has met from whom he can tolerate such brazen behavior. Perhaps that is telling. "Don't fight it; it's freedom."

The barkeep appears again, filling the glass Will emptied, and Will takes it, again. Hands it to Hannibal, again. Lifts his own, again, level with his mouth.

"But I guess I'll leave that up to you."

Hannibal's brows lift. He looks at Will. Looks at the offering of whiskey. Meets Will's eyes again, and sets his shot down.

"Well, it's intriguing," he says, "but to go would cost me greatly. I'd insist on a percentage of the show, if I were to take it."

"Fair enough," Will grins. "You'd want a piece of the all the action? Drink with me, I'll give you seven, and make it happen."

Hannibal laughs. "Does your employer let you bargain with all his potential partners on his behalf?"

"Only the ones I like," Will purrs. "Seven?"

"I wasn't born this morning; eighteen will be just fine."

"Eighteen!" Will repeats, and laughs loud. He sets his glass down. "Why not just go ahead and ask for nickels on the dime?" He shakes his head. "I could do eight. Maybe nine."

"Ten," Hannibal says, and lifts his glass again.

Will's eyes flash, and he lifts his own, prepared to press them together.

"And," Hannibal adds, pulling his glass away so they cannot toast. Will shifts his weight, leans in, his breathing warm and heavy when Hannibal reaches for him, tugs at one of the ends of his undone tie. "If you claim to know where my eyes linger, you will allow my hands to linger there, too."

Will's eyes darken, several shades, as well as the flush on his cheeks. Still, his smile is wide, eager with anticipation. He nods, shivering with it, and says, "Ten. To freedom, Doctor Lecter, and all its consequences."

At that, Hannibal lets their shot glasses meet, and they drink together. Hannibal takes a bill from his pocket to cover the tab, and stands, gathering his scarf and hat.

"I would like you to come to my home," he says quietly, so only Will can hear. "So that we might discuss…detailed terms."

Will looks up at him, wide-eyed, lips parted, and drums his fingers on the edge of the bar in a motion full of jitters and want. "When?" he breathes.

Hannibal smiles at him. "Tonight," he purrs. "Run along and tell Mister Crawford I am his business partner, and be sure he will agree to my terms. Then come, so we can celebrate."

Will nods, stumbling to his feet. He almost collides with Hannibal – would have, if propriety and quick reflexes did not mean he steadied himself with merely a hand on his arm. But oh, he is strong, muscled despite his slimness, from training his animals, and warm to the touch.

Hannibal lets his hand linger, just for a moment, before he busies himself with donning his scarf. "You already know where to find me," he says with a smile. "I shall see you soon, Will."

Will nods, and then, very softly, whispers; "Graham."

"Mm?"

"My real last name. It's Graham. A disgrace of my own, though I'm nothing like my father."

Hannibal's brows lift. Of course, everyone knows the name 'Graham' – the bankrupt and outcast family that were once a great steel magnate before the father's drunkenness and treatment of his late wife had thrown them from the social circles. So violent, so outrageous it had been, that not even money bought silence and respect anymore.

"Will Graham, then," Hannibal says, and smiles. "Hurry along now. We have much to discuss."

 

 

Will knocks on his front door scarcely an hour later, and Hannibal greets him with a smile and an offering of wine. Will is flushed, breathless like he might have sprinted to the circus and back, and takes the offered glass with another smile, lets Hannibal take his hat and scarf and coat and hang them, before they adjourn to the study, and sit on opposite, plush leather chairs.

Hannibal is used to seeing Will in low light, and the fire in his room paints Will gold, like his black and gold costume he wears for his act. He is just as lovely here as on stage, windswept and wild and vaguely smelling of hay.

Hannibal smiles at him, when Will sips at his wine. "Jack agreed to your ten percent," he says.

"And the rest?" Hannibal asks, curious if Will would even mention it.

Will flushes. "He is not one to judge," he replies slowly. "But he is a shrewd man as well. I believe he suspected when I suggested being the one to approach you. Further still, when I was not met with outright hostility; that you allowed me to chase you."

"I am somewhat of a hunter myself," Hannibal purrs. "I can appreciate an equal when it comes to determination."

"You liked me wearing you down?"

"Or perhaps I like building up your endurance," Hannibal says, and Will's blush, if it is possible, darkens further. He takes another drink of his wine – it is a sweet thing, pale gold and crisp on the tongue, and only serves to make one more thirsty.

Will shifts his weight, and looks very good in the midst of Hannibal's fine things; his large leather-bound books and the plushness of the chair and the dark walls only serve to highlight how beautiful, how pale and strong Will is amongst them. He swallows, and wipes his hand over his mouth. "If I understand you correctly, you'd have me endure far more of you."

"Would it be endurance, or mutual freedom?" Hannibal asks, lifting his chin.

Will meets his eyes, steady, the ocean robbed of sunlight and plunging Hannibal to its depths. "Oh, it's very mutual."

Hannibal smiles.

"Did you suspect me, as well? I thought I might have just been projecting."

Hannibal's head tilts. "Tell me, Will, for I have always been curious." Will makes a soft sound of interest, leaning in so his elbows are on his knees. In their previous talks, Hannibal had noted a curious lack of eye contact from Will; he avoided it, like it was something too intimate and sacred to be shared. Now, though, he is open, sitting like a lure in the water for Hannibal to bite. "How do you train your animals? You have a task for them, and you offer them something they want, if they agree to do it."

Will smiles at him, dimples and teeth. "It's true," he says with a nod. "First, I build a bond with them. Have them get used to my presence, allow them to trust me. They know no harm will come to them if I am around. Then, yes; I offer treats, praise, physical touch if they're the kind of animal that likes it, in exchange for performing."

Hannibal smiles. "Forgive me for saying I see similar tactics in your pursuit of me. You remained in my periphery for some time, allowed me to get used to you, and now you are offering me all kinds of reward for agreeing to your terms."

Will hums, lashes going low, and takes another drink. "Men are animals at heart, Doctor Lecter," he purrs. "Even the most refined and fierce predator can be tamed, given the right hand."

Hannibal tilts his head. "Do you think I am a predator?"

"I know that you are," Will says. Hannibal drums his fingers along his thigh, and takes a sip of his wine. "One does not just stumble into wealth. Even if it's inherited, one must fight to keep a firm hold upon it, lest someone take it from you. All the elite are predators clamoring to secure and hold their place."

Hannibal huffs a laugh, and grins when Will meets his eyes again. "And what does that make you, then?"

One of Will's brows lift, a sharp arch that makes him look young and haughty. He tilts his head, showing his neck, and presses the bowl of his wine glass against his pulse. Smiles, wide, and purrs; "A lion-tamer."

Hannibal smiles. "Have any of your animals proven unwilling to submit to you?"

"None so far," Will replies. "But as all men are animals, not all animals are men." He corrects his glass, takes a drink, eyeing Hannibal over the rim. "I'm not opposed to a conversation on submission, if it gets me what I want."

"What about equal ground?" Hannibal asks. "For the lion not to bow, but to nod, when the wolf passes by?"

Will's eyes flash with intrigue, he presses his lips together, and his tongue slides out, curled, to wet them. "What are you suggesting?"

"Merely that, in this arrangement, one of us need not submit to the other. That we achieve mutual reward. Mutual pleasure."

Will smiles. "Forgive me for being crass, but I prefer…receiving pleasure. I give enough of it away to my animals."

Hannibal's head tilts.

Will flushes. "Not in that way, of course."

"In what way?" Hannibal asks, teasing.

"In the way you're suggesting."

"What am I suggesting?"

Will sighs, and sets his glass down, half-full, on the little table on the side of his chair. "Doctor Lecter, let us be blunt now, with no prying eyes and risk of being overheard or judged. I know you want me. You are free to have me, in whatever way you desire."

"Because of the arrangement with Jack?"

Will blanches, nose crinkling. "I'm not a whore."

"I didn't mean to suggest you were," Hannibal replies, soft with apology. "Forgive me."

Will nods, easily pushing past the slight as he has pushed past all of Hannibal's indifference before. "I will say no, not because of the arrangement. This isn't a business proposal for me. I was simply the lure, to get you to agree and partner with Jack. He made no mention of additional reward. That was all me, because I wanted to offer it." Will meets his eyes again, dark and steady. "You're the one who made it a condition of the contract."

"Something I regret doing now, if I could have gotten it for free."

Will's eyes narrow. "Don't go back on your word."

"I have no intention of doing so," Hannibal says with a nod, and a smile, setting his wine glass down as well on the side table. He leans in, mimicking Will's renewed posture – elbows on knees, hands laced between them, hanging lax. "The lion is an opportunistic killer, Will, as much as a hunter capable of premeditation. My negotiations with Jack begin and end with my patronage and the ten percent. The rest, I will only make with you."

Will's eyes clear, at that, and his smile returns, lovely and charming as ever. "Men normally shake to seal a contract," he murmurs, and lowers his eyes to Hannibal's hands. "I would rather do something more…concrete."

Hannibal smiles, and stands. Will meets him, as he always has, a lingering shadow finally brought to the light. Hannibal steps up close to him, slides a hand into those soft curls that have haunted his dreams and peripheral vision for far too long. Clenches his fingers, and watches Will's eyes turn black.

His other hand finds Will's scruffy jaw – so uncouth, to be without a properly kept beard or clean-shaven as Hannibal is. Still, it's pleasant, to feel the warmth of soft hair covering a fine, firm jaw. He cups Will there, feels his pulse dance as Will dances in the ring, against his fingertips, and leans in as Will has leaned into him so many times, whispering promises and proposals.

Their lips meet in an explosion of wine and warmth, Will's lips parting to allow Hannibal to trace his teeth and tongue with his own mouth. Allows him, further, to lick between his teeth, to pull Will to him and keep him there, rob him of breath and light. Will kisses like a youth, untrained, more passion than technique, but Hannibal will be more than happy to teach him.

They break apart for merely a breath, and then Will's hands are in the arms of Hannibal's jacket, tight, with nails, and he tugs, seeking a second. Hannibal kisses him again, puts both hands in Will's hair as Will arches against him, until their chests share space and their lungs share air. It is a decadent thing, sweetened with wine and whiskey and firelight, and when Hannibal pulls away a second time, there are no oceans left in Will's eyes – merely the chasm of black space, wide and wanting above the pink blood flooding his cheeks.

Will breathes out heavily, slides his hands up to cup Hannibal's shoulders. He seems enthralled by the breadth of them, by their strength, and Hannibal wonders if in his head he is thinking of tiger pelts and lion manes, if he is comparing Hannibal to the creatures he holds and cares for. A hand moves to Hannibal's hair, tucks into the fine mesh of grey and bronze and brown at his nape.

Tightens, for just a second. Hannibal's upper lip twitches in answer, a shiver running down his spine.

"I would ask more of you, tonight," Will breathes, weak and ragged as all men are in the throes of desire. Hannibal feels it too; a simmering ache in him. The ache Will promised to release him from.

He nods, and tugs on Will's hair, flattens his other hand to Will's slim waist, and guides him back to the chair. Turns, a moment before Will's legs would buckle against it, and sits, pulling Will into his lap. Will stumbles, but goes, rough from drink and clearly inexperienced, but settles warm and heavy across his thighs, shivering with desire when Hannibal corrects his stance and brings their bodies tight together.

"I have seen you dancing," Hannibal says, and tugs Will down, kisses lightly at the corner of his mouth, eliciting a sweet sound from Will as his hips roll as though compelled to. "Watched, utterly enraptured, for even when you are not alone on the stage you capture attention like no other."

Will exhales, heavy and shivering. Hannibal can feel the heat of him, the hardness of his arousal as it thickens and grows, pressing to his belly above his own.

"I confess," he says, hoarse, pressing the words in a string of soft kisses down Hannibal's cheek, "I only sought to capture yours. I feel…so aware, when I know you're watching me. It overcomes me like a fever."

Hannibal shivers, clenching his nails in Will's clothes, in his trousers where they are bunching at the tops of his thighs. "Show me," he growls, and Will trembles for him, works his hand tighter into Hannibal's hair and braces the other on the high back of the chair, grinding forward, sweet and warm and both of them dampening with sweat.

"Will you watch me?" Will asks, breathing the words open-mouthed to Hannibal's parted lips. Their eyes meet, heavy and dark, Will's lashes casting long shadows along his lovely, sharp cheeks, his hair wild and only tamed somewhat where Hannibal's hand is still in his curls, clenching tightly. "When I perform, will you be in the stands, or in the flies, and watch me dance for you?"

"Always," Hannibal snarls, that ache growing claws in his chest, possessive pride the rival of conquerors howling in him. He lifts his hips, loses patience with the unsatisfactory press of Will, and drops both hands to their clothes, unfastening Will's trousers and pulling the halves apart, tugging his shirt out of the waistband, and finds, slick and warm, his hard cock. Draws it out so he can see it, cut as Americans are so fond of doing, pink at the tip just like Will's lovely mouth.

Will groans, dropping against him, grinding feverish and rough against his hand. He claws at Hannibal's nape, snarls like a half-human thing, tightens his thighs and sags to Hannibal's chest, panting against his neck.

"Please," he whispers, and in it is that same ache, a mirror and echo of the thing he desperately wanted to free Hannibal from. Hannibal curls his fingers, strokes lightly, smiles when Will's entire body shivers and jerks, wanting more. Tightens his hand, pulls Will to him by cock and nape, lifts his chin and kisses savagely, biting his lower lip when Will whines.

"Oh, Christ." Will trembles like a wave-tossed little boat, sweet and so comparatively young, so inexperienced, Hannibal is sure. With his father's legacy and his current employment, Hannibal doubts he had too many offers of physical closeness such as this, even with how beautiful he is. Will is charming, but to entice a mate, he would have had to hide such large pieces of himself.

He need not hide from Hannibal, nor Hannibal from him.

Hannibal noses at the exposed parts of his neck, Will's collar still unbuttoned in that rakish way, teasing and alluring and just begging to be marked. He parts his teeth and edges them in, testing, pleased when Will merely moans into his ear and clutches at his hair in response as if begging him to bite harder.

He does, feels soft flesh sink between his teeth, muscle warm and damp blushing and bruising beneath his bite. Will shivers, moaning more loudly – Hannibal will make him scream, one day. Will take him to bed or press him in a place dark with shadows, bare him and mark him everywhere his costume won't hide it. Let them pass it off as his animals being mean to him. Let them whisper to each other, suspecting, seeing how Hannibal looks at him, seeing how Will gazes right back. Let them see. Let them know.

He parts from Will's neck with a loud sucking sound, bites at his jaw, then his mouth, as Will whimpers and goes very still, like he can read Hannibal's thoughts and wants it just as badly. His fingers gentle on Hannibal's nape, petting now instead of gripping so desperately, as he trembles and spills onto Hannibal's fingers, dirtying his clothes.

No matter – Hannibal never particularly cared for this suit.

Will kisses him with no less fervor after his release, only now his mouth holds benediction and gratitude, his tongue, heavy and slick, receives a similar bite, though gentler. He stiffens when Hannibal continues to stroke him, wanting to draw out every piece of Will he can have, and when Will has no more to give, he sags against Hannibal's neck, panting and pawing.

Nuzzles, breathlessly, and whispers; "I believe you said something about 'mutual' pleasure."

Hannibal smiles. "That was a delight in and of itself to witness, Will."

"Then don't deny me the pleasure of witnessing you."

"Never."

Will nods, and pulls back, removing Hannibal's hand from him and tucking himself back in, though he makes no further motion to correct his clothes. He eyes Hannibal, no less sharp with his assessment after his orgasm, and, after another single moment of breathlessness and halted time, he pushes himself off of Hannibal's lap, and sinks to his knees.

Hannibal's brows rise swiftly, but he doesn't protest as Will begins to unfasten and part his dirty clothes. Hannibal's right hand is covered in Will's seed, and he licks a finger idly, humming at the taste.

Will notices, and parts his lips in a soft whine. "Share," he demands, and Hannibal smiles, offering his hand. Will takes his wrist, momentarily ignoring Hannibal's clothes, leaving him to push them the rest of the way off as Will brings his fingers to his mouth, sucks and licks the stain of himself from Hannibal's skin. He is delicate with his tongue, but ragged with his teeth, seeking to catch all of it, uncaring for taste or smell.

"You are delightful, Will," Hannibal murmurs, once his hand is clean, and shines only with lingering saliva.

Will's eyes drop, to where Hannibal's hard cock is pressing to the back of his underwear, tenting the material. His gaze darkens with desire, and he licks his lips – presses, almost testing, at the bulge, and then tugs at the material to bare Hannibal to his greedy eyes.

Hannibal sighs, both hands sliding to Will's hair, as he rears up to his knees and leans in, wraps his fingers around the base of Hannibal's cock and gives the head a small, kitten-like lick. His tongue is rough, and very warm, and sends a flash of heat up Hannibal's spine.

Will shivers like it's him that's receiving the touch. "I have wanted to do this for a long time," he confesses. It seems a good night for such declarations – and they are so very sweet, with Will's scent embedded in Hannibal's clothes and rich on his tongue.

He licks again, parts his lips and sucks the head into his mouth, tonguing along the innards of the foreskin until Hannibal is aroused enough that his cock is fully hard, and he can pull it back. The bared head of his cock is frightfully sensitive to Will's mouth, and Hannibal snarls, relishing the heat of him, the slick tightness as he cushions his teeth with his red lips, sinks down just an inch, cheeks hollowing as he sucks.

He seems moderately more skilled at this, and Hannibal swallows back a possessive growl. "Have you done this before?" he asks, unable to help himself.

Will shakes his head, and pulls off only to say; "The women talk, in the circus." His eyes flash up, and he gives Hannibal a toothy, off-kilter smile. "I listen."

Hannibal huffs, only for the sound to turn into a groan as Will takes him back into his mouth, sinking down again until Hannibal's cockhead hits the back of his throat. He spasms, but refuses to pull back – stubborn, determined, just as he was with his hunt. Hannibal's stomach is tense with a heavy mix of arousal and pride, to have such a beautiful, devoted man on his knees without having to be asked. Hannibal would challenge any man to refuse such a thing.

"Move slowly," he suggests, tugging on Will's hair to pull him back until only the tip of his cock is caught in the seal of Will's lips, then guides him down, not so far that he chokes, but enough that the most sensitive parts of Hannibal are engulfed in his wet, warm mouth. "That's it. That's very good, Will, just keep doing that."

Will moans, eager for the praise – of course, all performers are. Hannibal smiles, wanting to close his eyes and enjoy the sensation, but wanting more to watch Will, watch as his cheeks hollow and his lashes dip, watch his face flush with pleasure as he brings Hannibal closer to the edge. His fingers remain in a loose circle, stroking what he can't swallow.

"Oh, yes, Will, that's good." Hannibal swallows, clenches his jaw as Will figures out his tongue; flattens it to the bottom edge on the downstroke, teases the head and slit of Hannibal's cock when he's at his highest. Will moans roughly, the vibrations of his mouth causing another series of warm fissures of pleasure to race up Hannibal's spine, settle at the base of his skull and low in his belly.

"I'm going to finish soon, darling," he says, for it would be polite to warn Will, if he didn't want to swallow.

Will pauses, eyes lifting, and he pulls off with a soft gasp. Hannibal swallows back his disappointment, growling as Will continues to stroke him, fixes him with wide, black eyes and his parted pink mouth.

"Would you let me keep going?" he asks.

Hannibal presses his lips together, breathes in deeply, fighting not to finish just from the so-innocent question. "I merely wanted to offer the option," he says.

Will grins, showing his teeth.

"Mutual pleasure," he purrs, and Hannibal doesn't have a chance to say anything before he is once again enveloped in the sinful heat of Will's mouth. He moans openly, tugs on Will's hair because it makes Will's lashes flutter when he does it, and Will whines, sucks as hard as he can and sinks down as far as he's able. Hannibal's hips jerk up, helpless to stop himself, and Will's throat muscles spasm, and he lets out a ragged, wanting noise.

It is that noise that does it for Hannibal. He closes his eyes, tips his head back, and finishes with a rough snarl, spilling down Will's clenching throat. Will sighs through his nose, releases his fingers and swallows, the movements of his mouth forcing more out of Hannibal, so blessedly warm and wet, until Will must release him.

Hannibal softens his grip in Will's hair, leans in and rests their foreheads together as Will gasps and swallows, chasing the taste of Hannibal in his mouth, and catches his breath. After a moment, he lifts his chin, and they share a single, closed-lipped kiss.

Hannibal growls, biting. "Open," he commands, and Will's lips part, allowing Hannibal a taste of himself on Will's tongue. Purring, delighted, he reaches blindly for Will's wine glass and lifts it in offering.

Will takes it, swallowing a large mouthful to wash the taste away, as Hannibal lets him go, sits back and corrects his clothes to something more presentable, though the stains from Will's release will render it unfit for society. Just as his partnership with Jack and his relationship with Will is going to render him unfit.

All in all, Hannibal thinks himself in a much better position for it.

Will stands, and places the empty glass back on the table. The chair Hannibal stole from him is large enough to fit them both of them comfortably, and Will goes to him, smiles and sits on the armrest, sliding down so he's draped across Hannibal's lap like a Grecian muse – just as beautiful, just as fine. His presence swallows up Hannibal's vision as it always has, and when he flings an arm around Hannibal's shoulders and leans in for a kiss, Hannibal is no less eager to meet him for it.

Will cups his cheek, humming in satisfaction, and brushes his nose along Hannibal's temple, through his hair, as his fingers slide to Hannibal's nape and curl in the fine strands that are flat and damp with sweat. Hannibal lifts his chin when Will makes a soft sound in askance, eagerly grants him another kiss, and another, as Will curls up and settles in his embrace, one of Hannibal's arms steadying his waist, the other resting on his far knee, curled gently around the bunch of trousers.

Hannibal smiles, and noses at the mark he left on Will's neck. "I think I will have to commission a new costume for you," he says, with no end of pleasure. "Something that will show more of your lovely skin."

Will laughs. "Prideful? I'm shocked."

"Oh?"

"The warring desire to see me bared for you, but only for you. Yet in my act, you find me most captivating, and at the same time, share the sight of me with others. I think you would have me dance naked, if only others were not watching."

Now that is a lovely thought, but Will is right – with it comes a flare of irrational jealousy, the big cat showing its claws at the idea of another lion trying to take its mate. "There are other ways you will ensnare my attention, I'm sure," Hannibal replies lightly. "You do it so easily."

Will blushes, preening finely under the praise. "You'll find no complaints or protests from me," he murmurs, and rests his temple to Hannibal's hair, hums, and kisses the arch of his ear in a light brush of lips that makes Hannibal shiver. "At least when it comes to the performance."

"In the ring?"

"And other places." Will pulls back, so Hannibal can see his smile. "I acknowledge your greater experience in the matter, and place myself entirely in your hands."

"A bold statement," Hannibal teases, smiling to match Will's, all teeth. "You must be careful, darling; I am a predator, after all."

Will's eyes are dark as they rake over Hannibal's face, down his neck, his chest. Hannibal feels the strange urge to tilt his head, to show his throat and belly, knowing he might go so far as to purr under Will's attention. Will cups his face, draws his eyes, and kisses him.

"I am not a careful man," he breathes. "Nor a sensible one. I have heard some call me mad. Crazed."

"Normal people call a lot of great men crazed," Hannibal replies, and pets through Will's soft hair. He will not go another day without touching it; he vows that to himself in this moment. "What you proposed to me, what I agreed to – some would call that crazy."

"Leave sense to the masses." Will grins. "Let's agree to live a little crazy," he says with a soft, impish laugh, and Hannibal wonders for a moment if he has not, in fact, fallen for some supernatural creature, for Will glows in the fire light, ethereal and shining, and is as beautiful as any work of art Hannibal has seen; any performance, any symphony, they could not compare to Will.

"Mutual craziness," Hannibal laughs.

"Mutual pleasure."

He hums, and lifts his chin to claim another kiss from Will's sweet, smiling mouth.